Qwak Review

By , on June 9, 2010

Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5


  • True retro-gaming in a modern guise.
  • Ultra-fast platforming with puzzle elements.
  • Excellent variety of regular, challenge and bonus levels.


  • No social integration.
  • No native iTunes support.


Platform fans looking to put their speedy reactions to the test will find Qwak to be an excellent challenge, while casual gamers will love the fun, bright and simple gameplay that's straight from the hey-day of platforming.

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As an Amiga owner, I felt terribly ashamed to admit to developer Jamie Woodhouse that I'd never had a chance to play his game Qwak when it was released in 1993. However, as a title that was released by Team 17 in a budget bundle it was never given the chance it truly deserved. Thankfully, Qwak is now out on the App Store and after over 20 years this title has finally found a place it can shine.

Unlike most puzzle platformers, Qwak features fast paced gameplay that rewards quick thinking and quicker reactions to unlock as many bonuses as possible. Each of the game's 70 levels or 'scenes' features a series of locked gates, switches and other hazards to block your progress. Keys need to be collected to exit the level, but if you think quickly you can make your way around the level, eliminating enemies and gaining access to large rewards to boost your score. However, don't hang around for too long otherwise you'll cop a spiked ball to the head.

The art style is gorgeous, with the original pixel-art sprites being given a modern smooth look while retaining their retro appeal. The musical tracks have undergone a similar modern retooling. The lack of integrated social features for achievements or online high scores feels like a missed opportunity, but you'll be too busy dealing with randomly selected levels and various 'challenge' scenes to be too concerned.

Qwak is a boon for old-school and modern platform lovers alike and is perfect for putting your skills to the ultimate test.


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